ON GUARD: The Business of Private Security by Milton Lipson

ON GUARD: The Business of Private Security

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Since World War II private ""security officers"" have expanded beyond Pinkerton proportions to a total half as large as the U.S. Army. Lipson is a former sleuth who hunted welfare cheats in the 1930's and later joined the Secret Service. The book regards criminals as people who steal ""defense secrets"" or exhibit ""disheveled hair and dungarees,"" a bad influence on ""the uneducated disadvantaged."" Other objects of Lipson's disapprobation include film pirates, black nationalists, Patty Hearst, bum check writers, and those who think ""Ma Bell"" is ""fair game."" Nothing about plant guards who finger militants, not to mention the actual top-level crimes being uncovered daily in the U.S. Lipson's proposal is to ""professionalize"" the private sector ""security"" forces in line with RAND Corporation and Law Enforcement Assistance Administration standards, and he explains that the depression provides ""a manpower pool far more qualified and capable than that which is normally available."" Amidst his stories about catching Sam the Butcher in the good old days, Lipson's advocacy of a new auxiliary police apparatus under think-tank direction should draw debate despite the book's uninviting title.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co.